LibriVox recording of The Master of the World, by Jules Verne. Read by Mark F. Smith.
Chief Inspector Strock gets the tough cases. When a volcano suddenly appears to threaten mountain towns of North Carolina amid the non-volcanic Blue Ridge Mountains, Strock is posted to determine the danger. When an automobile race in Wisconsin is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of a vehicle traveling at multiples of the top speed of the entrants, Strock is consulted. When an odd-shaped boat is sighted moving at impossible speeds off the New England coast, Stock and his boss begin to wonder if the incidents are related. And when Strock gets a hand-lettered note warning him to abandon his investigation, on pain of death, he is intrigued rather than deterred.
Set in a period when gasoline engines were in their infancy and automobiles were rare, and when even Chief Inspectors had to engage a carriage and horses to move about, the appearance of a vehicle that can move at astounding speeds on land, on water - and as later revealed, underwater and through the air - marks a technological advance far beyond the reach of nations. It is technology invented by and for the sole benefit of a man who styles himself (with some justification) "The Master of the World."
This book is a sequel to an earlier Verne novel, "Robur the Conqueror", but enough detail is given to fully appreciate this story without having first read the other.
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This book is apparently a sequel, I only found that out after having listened to it and I can assure you that it is entirely self contained and you do not have to read/listened to the prequel.
As the blurb suggests we have an investigation within the story, the lead character is trying to find the cause of various strange events. We follow the lead characters through his failures and successes.
This story by Jules Verne is not so much an adventure as a slow paced investigation into the unusual by a ploding investigator. There are one or two very brief moments of a speedier pace but thats all.
All in all, it was a pleasant enough story but the plot was extremly thin.
The reading is by Mark Smith, one of the excellent readers at Librivox.
Total Score 6/9
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